St. Maria Faustina Kowalska
St. Faustina’s name is forever linked to the annual feast of the Divine Mercy (celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter), the divine mercy chaplet and the divine mercy prayer recited each day at 3 p.m. by many people.
Born in what is now west-central Poland (part of Germany before World War I), Helena Kowalska was the third of 10 children. She worked as a housekeeper in three cities before joining the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1925. She worked as a cook, gardener and porter in three of their houses.
In addition to carrying out her work faithfully, generously serving the needs of the sisters and the local people, she also had a deep interior life. This included receiving revelations from the Lord Jesus, messages that she recorded in her diary at the request of Christ and of her confessors.
At a time when some Catholics had an image of God as such a strict judge that they might be tempted to despair about the possibility of being forgiven, Jesus chose to emphasize his mercy and forgiveness for sins acknowledged and confessed. “I do not want to punish aching mankind,” he once told St. Faustina, “but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful heart” (Diary 1588). The two rays emanating from Christ’s heart, she said, represent the blood and water poured out after Jesus’ death (John 19:34)
Because Sister Maria Faustina knew that the revelations she had already received did not constitute holiness itself, she wrote in her diary: “Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God” (Diary 1107).
Sister Maria Faustina died of tuberculosis in Krakow, Poland, on October 5, 1938. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1993 and canonized her seven years later.
Devotion to God’s Divine Mercy bears some resemblance to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In both cases, sinners are encouraged not to despair, not to doubt God’s willingness to forgive them if they repent. As Psalm 136 says in each of its 26 verses, “God’s love [mercy] endures forever.”
Four years after Faustina’s beatification, John Paul II visited the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy at Lagiewniki (near Krakow) and addressed members of her congregation. He said: “The message of divine mercy has always been very close and precious to me. It is as though history has written it in the tragic experience of World War II. In those difficult years, this message was a particular support and an inexhaustible source of hope, not only for those living in Krakow, but for the entire nation. This was also my personal experience, which I carried with me to the See of Peter and which, in a certain sense, forms the image of this pontificate. I thank divine providence because I was able to contribute personally to carrying out Christ’s will, by instituting the feast of Divine Mercy. Here, close to the remains of Blessed Faustina, I thank God for the gift of her beatification. I pray unceasingly that God may have ‘mercy on us and on the whole world’ “(Quote from the Chaplet of Divine Mercy).
LUISA PICCARRETA AND DIVINE MERCY
FROM THE BOOK OF HEAVEN
V9 – 9.11.10 – “My daughter, Luisa, Justice and MERCY are in a Continuous Fight, and the Victories of MERCY are More than those of Justice. Now, when a soul is Perfectly United With My Divine Will, she Takes Part in My Actions ad extra, and as she Satisfies with her Sufferings, MERCY Obtains Its Most Beautiful Victories over Justice. And since I Delight in Crowning All of My Attributes with MERCY, even Justice Itself, in Seeing Myself Being Importuned by the soul United with Me, in order to Content her, I Surrender to her, because she has Surrendered All of her things in My Divine Will. This is why I do not Come when I do not Want to Surrender – because I don’t Trust that I can Resist without Surrendering. So, what is your doubt?”
V12 – 12.6.19 – Now, I remember that one night I was doing the Adoration of my Crucified Jesus, telling Him: ‘My Love, in Your Will I Find All Generations; and in the name of the Whole human family, I Adore You, I Kiss You, I Repair You for All. I Give Your Wounds and Your Blood to All, so that All May Find their Salvation. And if the lost souls can no longer Benefit from Your Most Holy Blood, nor Love You, I Take It in their place, in order to do what they should have done. I do not Want Your Love to Remain defrauded in anything on the part of creatures. I Want to Compensate, Repair You, Love You for All, from the first to the last man…’
While I was saying this and other things, my Sweet Jesus Stretched His Arms around my neck, and Squeezing All of me, Told me: “My daughter, Luisa, Echo of My Life, while you were Praying, My MERCY was Softening, and My Justice was Losing Sharpness – and not only in the present time, but also in the future, because your Prayer will Remain in Act in My Divine Will. By Virtue of it, My Softened MERCY will Flow More Abundantly, and My Justice will be Less Rigorous. Not only this, but I will Feel the Note of the Love of the lost souls, and My Heart will Feel for you, Luisa, a Love of Special Tenderness, Finding in you the Love which these souls Owed Me; and I will Pour into you, Luisa, the Graces which I Had Prepared for them.”
- Paragraph 2635 – III. Prayer of Intercession
2635 Since Abraham, intercession—asking on behalf of another—has
been characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy. …CCC
- Paragraph 2769 – III. The Prayer of the Church
… When the Church prays the Lord’s Prayer, it is always the people made up
of the “new-born” who pray and obtain mercy. 21 ( 1243 )…CCC
Psalms 32:18 – Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him: and on them that hope in his mercy.
Jude 1:21 – Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto life everlasting.
Matthew 5:7 – Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.